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Block Party: Rick Block Wins First Event of 2015 Seneca Niagara Summer Slam

Rick Block


  • Rick Block, a poker pro from Alden, NY, took down the first event of the 2015 Seneca Niagara Falls Summer Slam.

  • 2015 Seneca Niagara Falls Summer Slam Event 1 drew 569 total entries and created a $91,893 prizepool.

  • Find out who won the opening event of the 2015 Seneca Niagara Falls Summer Slam and took home $15,000.

The first event of the 2015 Seneca Niagara Falls Summer Slam, a $200 no-limit hold'em tournament, attracted 569 entrants over four starting flights, which created a $91,893 prizepool, almost double the event's $50,000 guarantee.

On Sunday, Rick Block, a professional poker player from Alden, New York, took down that event after a six-way chop. It wasn't Block's first taste of success at Seneca Niagara; in fact, late last year he took down the 2014 Seneca Falls Poker Classic $1,000 Main Event for $40,050, the biggest score of his career.

Block is also a World Series of Poker Circuit ring winner after taking down a $580 No-Limit Hold'em Event in December 2013 at Atlantic City for $28,373. The $15,000 first-place prize Block captured for his win in the 2015 Seneca Niagara Falls Summer Slam marks the third-biggest cash of his career and brought his lifetime earnings up to $141,465.

Final Table Results

1Rick Block$15,000
2Ray Williams$10,000
3John Elia$9,881
4Geoffrey Ferenc$9,072
5Larry Carney$6,231
6Blake Napierala$6,203
7William Ho$2,803
8John Grace$2,297
9Andy Spears$1,930

The final day began Sunday with 93 players and Block among five who had above 200,000 in chips. Once they pushed past the 54-player money bubble, Block busted another of those players, cooling off John Stempien in a set-over-set hand to take control of the tournament.

Speaking of the bubble, it was déjà vu as the eventual bubble boy ended up being Richard Wyssling, who failed to turn up for Day 2. The same situation happened this weekend halfway across the country in the Mid-States Poker Tour Meskwaki, which you can read about by clicking here.

By the time the final table was reached, Block was on top and never gave up the lead. With seven players remaining and the blinds at 20,000/40,000/4,000, William Ho shoved his stack all in on a {k-Spades}{2-Spades}{3-Spades} flop and received a call from Joseph Elia.

Elia: {a-Spades}{9-Hearts}
Ho: {5-Spades}{5-Diamonds}

Ho was ahead, and his position got even better when the {5-Hearts} turn gave him a set. All he needed to do was avoid a spade and four on the river, but that proved easier said than done as the {10-Spades} spiked to give Elia a winning flush. Ho took home $2,803 for his seventh-place finish and set up a six-way chip chop that saw Block take home the $15,000 first-place prize, the title, and the trophy.

PokerNews' coverage of the 2015 Seneca Niagara Falls Summer Slam will continue with Event #3, a $50 No-Limit Hold'em tournament with a $25,000 guarantee. Follow live updates from that event by clicking here.

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